Thursday, January 31, 2019

How to make linoleum stamps - DIY

Tools and materials I propose:

3D carver links:

In this video I explore a couple of methods on how to make linoleum stamps. Some more DIY and some involving more advanced techniques. 

Linoleum is an awesome material to use in block printing. It comes in a few variations. Some are harder than others. The difference between carving wood and linoleum, is that wood is harder and you have to pay attention to the grain direction as you carve.

First of all you must transfer your design on linoleum. I print it out and use a pencil to add graphite on it’s back side. I use a soft 2B pencil. Then I secure the printout on the linoleum and trace over it with another pencil. This leaves the trace on the linoleum. Please note that stamps print their mirrored image. So your design must be flipped.

To carve linoleum you can use cheap linoleum chisels. The skew and the V are used for the outlines. While the gouges remove material fast. Keep your sharpening strop close, because you need to keep your tools really sharp.

You can also carve linoleum with a CNC machine. V carving bits work great for stamps, especially if you have complicated designs. 

If you have a lathe, you can obviously turn a handle for your stamp. This is mostly spindle work. Once you turn the handle you can use wood glue to glue the linoleum on it.

If you don’t have a lathe, you can use a block plane and a chisel to make the handle as shown in the video. To make the base use a hole saw. Join the base and the handle together using an 8mm dowel.

With your stamps ready you can begin printing. Spread your ink on a flat surface with a spatula. I used plexiglass. Then fill you roller with ink and ink your stamp, you are ready to go. Experiment with different colors and materials. I use water based inks, because they are easy to clean and are more eco friendly. You can also create gradient effects. Add two colors side by side. Fill your roller by moving it back and forth only at one direction. The results are pretty interesting.

This is a really fun technique and can give you hours of creative fun. In the CNC files I have included a few vector designs so you can play around.

I hope you liked this one. See you soon with a new project!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Introduction to wood block printing and carving

Tools and materials I propose:

Block printing is an ancient art and craft. In this video I give you an introduction on woodblock printing, with a few basic tools and techniques you need to get started. 

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to make a bench hook out of 12mm plywood.

Use your circular saw and your table saw to cut your material to size. Then glue and nail all your pieces together. When you push your chisel against the block, it hooks on the bench.

As printing block, you can use box wood. It’s a nice soft wood for carving. But I would suggest to use plywood. It has less chances to warp and it provides a flat surface to work with.

It’s a good idea to coat your block with ink. This way when you start removing material you will reveal the light areas of your print.

You can use linoleum gouges or wood carving chisels.

Have your sharpening station near by, because you will need to keep your tools razor sharp.

My primary tool is the skew chisel. You carve from one side at an angle and then you carve from the exact mirrored side. This way you create a V groove. You can also hollow small tight spots this way. Remember not to force the tools or the wood. It’s better to complete your job with multiple passes.

The V chisel does a similar job faster. But I find the skew more accurate, especially in small carving jobs.

You can also take advantage of the shape of the gouges to carve circles. The gouges also help you remove material fast.

I begun by drawing my forms. Then I carved the outline with the skew and then I hollowed with a gouge. 

Sometimes your thumb can act as a brake. This way you have better control and safety when using your tools. Especially with the skew or V. Try to carve with the blades facing away from you or your hands.

For printing you must use a special paper than can absorb the ink nicely. I used water based ink. In that case you can moist your paper a bit, to help it open it’s pores.

You will also need a spatula, a roller, a baren and a flat surface to spread the ink. As a flat surface you can use plexiglass or glass.

Next spread your ink with the roller and ink your block. Take your moist paper and place it over the block. Add another piece of paper on top and start pressing with your baren. After a while gently remove your printout.

This is basically it. You can experiment with moisture and your pressing technique. This is something on which you get better and better overtime with practice.

As a printer you should number your prints. Once you are happy with a printout, you add it’s number out of the whole. For example printout 23/50 and you sign it.

The beautiful thing about block printing is that every printout is different and has a different texture. That’s why it’s so artistic. 

Block printing is awesome. I really enjoyed it, and I hope you have enjoyed it too.

But that was it, see you soon, with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How to make a wood and resin begleri - Anti stress juggling toy

Tools and materials I propose:

I made this little begleri out of iroko wood and epoxy resin. I also used a piece of leather as a cord. 

I used a scrap pine piece to make my mold. 

I mounted the piece between centers on the lathe and turned it true with the bowl gouge.

You can make the tenon for the chuck with the skew chisel.

Hollow your mold with forstner bits. First decrease the speed of the lathe. Then start with a small bit and increase the size of your bit as you move on. Use a depth gauge to check how far in you’ve gone. 

After my mold was ready, I turned an iroko dowel on the lathe to fit in my mold.

Use a chisel to split the iroko dowel in half. To give it more character you can use a V carving chisel.

Next glue the iroko piece on the mold to keep it from floating in the resin.

The resin I used was one part A and one part B. I added 4 drops of transparent orange dye. I should have used less dye, because I wanted it more transparent. 

Mix the resin good and pour it into the mold. It’s supposed to be a self degassing resin but I used a lighter to pop some bubbles. 

After a few days, the resin cured and I mounted it on the lathe to turn it.

I shaped my begleri with flat chisels as scrapers. I also made the cord hole on the lathe.

Do as much sanding as you can on the lathe. Start at 100grit and move your way up to 1000. Above 500 wet sand with mineral oil.

Use the parting tool to part the pieces off. Continue with hand sanding.

Final step a good buff with buffing wheels mounted on the lathe.

My begleri came out nice. I would prefer it be more transparent and with fewer bubbles, but that was it.

See you soon with a new project video. 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Make special purpose homemade tools from allen keys - DIY

Tools and materials I propose:

In this video I show you how I made a few special woodturning tools. This way you save money and get the satisfaction of making your own tools. 

In the past I have made several homemade tools. And believe me, you save money and get the joy of making your own tools.

To make tools you will need tool steel. You can use old files, chisels, saw blades, drill bits and the list goes on. 

For this project I used allen keys, to make a few special purpose wood turning tools.

First  of all I flatten two sides on the belt sander.

Once in a while I dip the tool in water to cool it down. You don’t want to burn the tool, and loose it’s hardness.

Next I grinded the bevel of the tool. I wanted something close to a scraper.

Once I set the angle on my grinder’s base, I begun grinding the bevel.

When you see sparkles flying over the bevel, you are almost there. Then I used a flat sharpening stone to clean the burr.

To make handles for my tools, I used iroko wood. Iroko is a beautiful hard wood, but it’s toxic. So using a respirator is a must!

Next I found my centers and removed as much material as I could on the bandsaw. This way I saved quite some time on the lathe. 

I turned the handles on the lathe. I then cut pieces of tubes and glued them on the handles with 5 minute epoxy.

When the epoxy dried, I sanded the handles flush on the belt sander.

I wanted the steel part to fit snuggly. So I sanded it until it fitted perfectly.

Finally I glued the steel in the handle with 5 minute epoxy again.

I finished the handles with 3 coats of spray lacquer. To speed up the drying process I used my heat gun.

Finally I buffed the handles on my buffing wheels to make them feel nice in my hands.

If you need tools for a special project, chances are you won’t use them so often. So making your own tools is cheaper and also gives you the satisfaction of creating something unique!

I hope you enjoyed that project, see you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

How to make a goblet with a captive ring - woodturning

Tools and materials I propose:

In this video, I show you how to make this wooden goblet out of apricot wood on the lathe. 

First of all I made a rough prototype to see what difficulties I was going to come across.

I then mounted a piece of apricot wood between centers on the lathe, and turned it true with my roughing gouge.

Then I used the skew chisel to create the tenon for the chuck.

After mounting the piece on my chuck. I flattened one edge with the parting tool.

To hollow my goblet, I used the bowl gouge and the spindle gouge. This was end grain hollowing and my tools didn’t seem to work nicely. I think they were too large for such a small project. I just could’t avoid the catches.

So I decided to remove material with a drill bit. Then I grinded a chisel as a scraper. This tool worked just fine.

At this point I sanded the interior of my goblet.

Next I marked the position of the ring, so I wouldn’t remove material from this area. 

I then started shaping with the spindle gouge and the parting tool. At this point I sanded the goblet I had so far.

To part the ring off, I made two mini scrapers from allen keys. I used a pair of locking pliers to hold them while turning. I first used one scraper to remove material from one side. Then I used the other scraper from the other side, to part the ring off. I took it really slow here. After a while the ring was free.

You can easily let the ring spin aside, while you clean the stem.

To sand the interior of the ring, I just secured a piece of sandpaper on the stem of the goblet. I did that using a zip tie. The stem worked really nicely as a spindle sander.

I sanded to 200 grit and then finished the piece with Yorkshire grit abrasive paste. I just applied the paste on the piece, slowed down my lathe and used a paper towel to polish the goblet.

It was a really fun and relaxing project, perfect to start the new year!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. But that was it, see you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.